"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Once the criminal was identified, it was a simple matter to find out what his crime had been" - an interesting quote

A woman in a Nazi Germany "denounced her husband to the Nazis as a defeatist, in order to get him out of the way so that she could pursue a new love affair.  Her action was consistent with wartime Nazi law. But was that really "law"?  ...  Does a law have to be compatible with basic moral conceptions in order to be truly law?  Or is it enough that the body or person exercising control has said that is its or his will?"

Ingo Muller, "Hitler's Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich", Harvard University Press, 1991, Introduction, p. xvii.

  E.T.A. Hoffman, a judge of the Prussian Supreme Court in the 19th century described the work of police investigations into "subversive activities" in his work "Master Flea":  "..a whole web of arbitrary acts, blatant disregard for the law, [and] personal animosity", id, p. 3.

The tale "Master Flea" describes an investigator who had the following opinion about what comes first - establishing that a person committed a crime or finding a person you want to pin a crime on and pin it:  "When reminded that, after all, a crime had to have been committed for there to be a criminal, Knarrpanti opined that once the criminal was identified, it was a simple matter to find out what his crime had been.  Only a superficial and careless judge would ... not be able to slip into the inquest some small lapse or other on the defendant's part that would justify the arrest", id., pp. 3-4.

Does all of that ring the bell, ladies and gentlemen?

If it does, you should be scared, you should take your heads out of the sand and make sure that your laws in your country can never be subverted the way described above.

Because the legal chimeras that the German legal scholar of the XIXth century described went out of control and grew to become the courts of the Nazi Germany that justified massive genocide by the Nazis.

Once the government starts on the slippery slope of pursuing a person and trying to "pin" upon that person anything the government can find to 'get" that person - and once the courts of that country justify this course of conduct, under various disguises and "legal doctrines' - there is nothing to prevent the slippery slope to further deteriorate into a situation where anything at all that the government does will be endorsed and "legalized" by the courts.

And what happens then, we know only too well from the history of the Nazi Germany.

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